Palmetto Bluff Offers the Best of Summer Camp in Lowcountry

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Palmetto Bluff Offers Travelers the Best of Summer Camp in Lowcountry

September 12, 2018

I fell hard for Savannah, Georgia. Each cobblestone street—their century-old pattern of red bricks no longer so flat now—is more enchanting than the last. Because Savannah’s is the largest National Historic Landmark District in the country, there are nearly endless opportunities to be enchanted, whether by streets lined with crenellated, well-kept homes, or public squares, including a couple made famous in movies (Chippewa Square is the one in Forrest Gump). Over these manmade charms stretch thick, impossibly gnarled branches of live oaks fuzzy with resurrection ferns and draped in Spanish moss. Only rarely have I felt such a solid sense of place. There’s only one problem: Savannah isn’t the purpose of my trip. I’m in the city only for two days. It’s just the jumping-off point for a visit to Palmetto Bluff, among the southernmost areas in South Carolina’s famous Lowcountry.

I’ve never before been to Lowcountry so I have no idea what to expect, although I leave Savannah sure there is no way it can compare. Because of this prejudgment, just before I leave the city (and right after I discover Savannah College of Art and Design’s ShopSCAD gallery, full of both cute and cutting-edge art and design), I come up with a plan for my four days in Palmetto Bluff: I’ll drive back to Savannah each morning and spend the day exploring the city more deeply (and eating full meals at restaurants I visited on a short food tour).

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But I drop that plan an hour after my arrival at Palmetto Bluff. As hard as I fell for Savannah, I fall harder here. Savannah has a palpable sense of place, but the Lowcountry and Palmetto Bluff have magic. Not once in my entire stay do I get in my car. I barely remember there’s a world outside of Palmetto Bluff.

I had expected Palmetto Bluff to be beautiful, but, well, perhaps boring. It is a 20,000-acre planned community, after all, even if its planning is absolutely perfect. But here everyone rides beach cruisers everywhere—to play croquet or bocce or to the equestrian center or yoga. Men in sport coats and pressed chinos and women in casual skirts and ballet flats bike to dinner. Hammocks hang beneath wizened live oaks, some older than the United States. There are adult-sized tree houses. At night, twinkling, white lights illuminate the east side of Village Square, the heart of Palmetto Bluff ’s main village, Wilson. One evening biking home from dinner, I pass an older couple dancing under these lights to music only they can hear. Every evening from 7 to 9, s’mores are served around a giant outdoor fire pit a few paces from the May River. This is summer camp, graciously done for adults (although kids are welcome and there are art activities and sports for them).

There is no landscape like the Lowcountry’s. Stretching roughly from Charleston more than 100 miles south to the Savannah River, it is a wild labyrinth of rivers, islands, maritime forests, wetlands, savannas, and marshes. A bald eagle, heron, or ibis might circle overhead while a gopher turtle, or, yes, an alligator, swims below. There are orchids, cypress, sycamore, magnolia, and flowering dogwood. Here “porching” is a verb and a perfectly respectable way to spend an afternoon, provided it’s done while sipping sweet tea or some other refreshing libation.

Looking for somewhere to stay in Palmetto Bluff? Click here for your most luxurious options.

The area’s magic isn’t in these facts, but in how the Lowcountry inspires me to appreciate these things. I spend several happy afternoons porching, which my type-A personality could never enjoy in real life. In Palmetto Bluff I porch on the screened-in veranda overlooking a lagoon off the back of a traditional clapboard cottage. I read, write in my journal, and one afternoon, just sit and feel my skin gratefully soak up the humidity. Always I listen to a soundtrack of a crickets.

I can porch because from the time I arrive at camp, er, Palmetto Bluff, until I leave, I feel I’m on hallowed ground, where I am protected and safe and where nothing bad can happen to me. I relax more deeply than I ever have in my adult life. I sleep better than I have in years. My brain slows down. Not that this was part of my plan, but every day I go all day without checking my phone or email. For whatever reason, it feels like the right thing to do. Life doesn’t go away, but since the worries of it do, I porch.

I also go on a couple of sunrise runs. Some along paved trails; others on paths made of crushed oyster shells or packed sand. I pass forested nature preserves and ponds. Running home the first morning, I meet a family of deer, resting just off the trail in thick beds of fallen sycamore leaves. Running my last morning, I spot a moving alligator in the middle of the lagoon. To get better photos of it I walk past a “Do not feed the alligators” sign and to the end of a pier. During the five minutes I watch the creature, never once does it look in my direction or come closer. Later, looking at the photos I took, it looks like a log.

As much as I enjoy my runs, it is my sunrise and sunset walks that I enjoy most. This is surprising because I am not a walker. Again, though, walking—slowing down—feels like the right thing to do. One evening, I walk farther than expected and arrive at a tree house on the bank of Cauley’s Creek just before sunset. I climb four stories to the highest floor and am above the top of the forest’s thick canopy. Below, anglers make their last casts of the day and an egret wades in the thick cattails at the creek’s edge. The oranges and pinks so suck me in, I forget about having to walk back. But even if I were to remember, I don’t know how I could leave the sunset early, each one while I’m here is a show worthy of watching to the very end.

I rely on Palmetto Bluff ’s magic to save me from walking home by myself in the dark. And by “magic,” I mean a staff member gives me a ride home in a golf cart.

Early afternoons not spent reading or napping in a hammock are for tennis lessons at Wilson Lawn & Racquet, where I twice hit with tennis pro Natalie. A former college player, she quickly figures out I like low forehands with plenty of pace. Returning ball after ball low and fast, Natalie makes me feel like a tennis star. In addition to its eight Har-Tru tennis courts, the racquet club has two croquet lawns and two bocce courts, but I never see anyone playing either.

If I were here longer, I’d go to the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club, where 13 sporting clays stations wind through a 40-acre forest. Although it does make me a bit nervous, the shooting club welcomes “all ages and all shooting abilities.” I’d also get over my fear of horses and spend a day taking a riding lesson at Longfield Stables, Palmetto Bluff ’s 173-acre farm and equestrian facility. It has always been a dream to ride a horse at a full gallop, and I do have a feeling there are few places safer than here to start my career as an equestrienne. Perhaps on my next trip.

While horses scare me, the presence of alligators in Palmetto Bluff ’s ponds and rivers does not, at least when it comes to kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. This is because of a Palmetto Bluff Conservancy brochure given to me at check-in, “A Guide to Living With Alligators.” The front flap has a photo of two gators lazily sunning themselves while a heron nonchalantly wades in the shallows behind. Having never before lived around— or even seen in the wild—an alligator, I’m glad for this guide. It states “Humans are not natural prey for alligators” and “An alligator will not intentionally approach a canoe or kayak.”

It is a SUPing adventure—no alligators involved—that keeps me from the last Savannah activity I think I might still do. The night before my departure, feeling I have soaked up enough Lowcountry magic, I make a reservation for early the next afternoon, for a historic architecture walking tour of downtown. I’ll do the tour and then head for the airport. But at the end of my sunrise walk that last morning, I swear I see “SUP” written in the reflection on the clouds on the May River. (Or maybe I’m seeing what I want to see?) This cloud writing is a different kind of magic than the Ouija boards that were the rage my last time at summer camp, but still I pay attention.

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Out on the May River on a rented paddleboard, I feel the tide coming in. There aren’t waves, but there’s a gentle push upstream and when I turn the board around and take a few paddles downstream towards Savannah, slight resistance. Not that I need the tide to confirm my decision—I have no regrets over not going back to Savannah—but I appreciate nature’s affirmation nonetheless.

While I note the tide, it doesn’t really matter because my goal is not to paddle, but to porch. When Karen at the Boathouse Boutique explained porching to me my first day in Palmetto Bluff, I asked her many questions. I had not yet had the idea to sit down on a SUP in the May River, sip from a bottle of sweet tea, and watch the world float by—that only came after I saw the writing in the clouds—but still I asked Karen whether an actual porch was needed to porch. Could you porch on a pier? Could you porch in a hammock? How about a tree swing? A bench along the river? After considering my question for some seconds—this obviously wasn’t something to answer flippantly—she replied that it wasn’t the porch that was important, but the pace. “Porching is about slowing down and being in the moment.”

I might be a porching newbie, but straddling my board, looking back at shore to anglers getting ready to go out for the day, couples pedaling along the waterfront, and a brother and sister skipping stones from the end of a pier, I can’t help but think I nailed it.

One Couple’s Experience on a River Cruise Through Europe

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One Couple’s Experience on a River Cruise Through Europe

September 7, 2018

My husband Doug and I had done Inspirato cruises, as well as cruises on our own, before but we’d never done a river cruise. We were always on a big Seabourn or Crystal boat. Those ships are amazing and have several hundred other people aboard; we enjoyed them, but on our most recent one we actually had problems meeting people. 

That really made us curious about how different a small cruise might be. We thought a smaller boat would be a great way to meet other members with whom we had things in common. As soon as we saw the itinerary for Inspirato’s Danube cruise from Prague to Vienna on the AmaCerto, we signed up. It was the perfect-size boat, about 160 state rooms, with an itinerary of cities we had never been to but were interested in.

Europe River Cruise Featured Photo 1

From the first time the group met up in Prague, we knew our hunch was right. The group was so small! We boarded buses— only needing several instead of several dozen—to get from Prague to Vilshofen, where the boat waited for us. We started meeting people right away. By the time we stopped for a short tour and lunch at the medieval city of Regensburg, a beautifully preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site about halfway between Prague and the AmaCerto, we were already friendly with other couples. That evening in Vilshofen, a Bavarian town that is at least 1,200 years old, a private Oktoberfest celebration for Inspirato Members and guests really kicked things off. Also, Bavaria is the birthplace of Oktoberfest, and the event really felt like a local celebration. We got to try so many different beers and there was traditional Bavarian folk music and dancing. People we met this first day are among those we’ve stayed in touch with.

We didn’t really have expectations for this trip since everything about it was new to us—the small boat, the stops—but, if we had, they would have been exceeded. I’m still surprised at how much I enjoyed things that hadn’t ever crossed my mind: On larger ships, you travel at night, but on the AmaCerto, we traveled a lot during the day. It was novel to sit out on the deck and watch the locals fishing, walking their dogs, or taking a run. It made us feel even more a part of the local culture and reinforced the more intimate vibe of a smaller boat.

This was the first cruise I’ve done where I felt like we actually learned about the lives of the people in the cities we visited. It was so easy to walk into each town, or borrow one of the AmaCerto’s complimentary bikes and ride into town whenever we wanted. (Of course there were multiple daily activities and tours to choose from, too.) One of the big topics of conversation at a couple of our dinners with new friends was how much the locals had gone through under Communism and its aftermath. We had all learned about Communism in school, but a history class doesn’t teach you as much as talking to people who lived through it. Learning about the experiences of others added real depth to this trip.

But, of course, everything wasn’t serious. I, with several new girlfriends, went shopping in Vienna. In the smaller towns and cities earlier in the itinerary—Linz, Melk, Krems—we had been shopping in many cute local boutiques on hidden cobblestone streets where we got unique gifts for friends and family, but it was nice in Vienna to be around stores and brands we were familiar with. All of us found something in Hermes or Gucci that wasn’t available at their U.S. boutiques. The husbands weren’t happy about our shopping, but, since I’ve been home, when I’ve worn the belt buckle I bought in Vienna, it conjures happy memories of a great trip.

The shopping was not the highlight of Vienna though. I would not have considered myself a fan of Strauss or Mozart (Doug was), and, before this trip, I didn’t listen to classical music at home. But Vienna is considered the “Music Capital of the World” and Inspirato arranged for seats in the front section of the Kursalon Lanner Hall for an evening concert by the Salonorchester Alt Wien. It was magical, and eye-opening. It spurred us to listen to that music more; now I love listening to it in the house.

Back home, we’ve also introduced friends to some of the foods we encountered on the cruise. We gifted all sorts of Hungarian spices—real Hungarian paprika is so much better than any paprika I’ve found here— to friends at home, and we’re planning on having a dinner party that features Hungarian and German food like sausages, Wiener schnitzel, and cheese soup. In Budapest, we took a cooking class where we made goulash (with plenty of paprika), a classic Hungarian dish. The first weekend we were home together, I made it for Doug.

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Even onboard the AmaCerto, or I should say, especially onboard, the food was amazing, and the dining scene was exactly what we had hoped for. There were multiple seating times and open seating. If we wanted to have an intimate dinner with the two of us, we could without having to make a reservation in advance. Or we could decide we wanted to sit with new friends. And the flavors of each meal were different. Sometimes on bigger ships, we had a lot of the same thing every day. That wasn’t the case on the AmaCerto

Every day was a different flavor of ice cream and the entrée options were really switched up every night. One night we had a special meal out on the deck with truly fabulous wines and locally inspired food. I had thought all the hiking and bike riding we did over the week—every stop had hiking to historic sites and we rode bikes to vineyards once—would counteract all the food we ate, but that didn’t quite happen. It was worth it though, both for the cuisine and the new friends we shared it with. Over one meal, several couples talked about planning a future Inspirato trip together. We haven’t started planning yet, but I don’t doubt it will happen

New York City’s Most Luxurious Hotels

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New York City's Most Luxurious Hotels

August 27, 2018

As the most populated and diverse city in the United States, it’s no secret that New York City has also become a global hub for luxury. With more than 80 world-class museums, hundreds of award-winning restaurants, and a lively nightlife, travelers never run out of things to do or see in the city that never sleeps.

New York’s luxury hotel scene is just as diverse and impressive as the city itself. Stunning views, ideal locations, and extraordinary amenities and interior design are only the beginning. In the slideshow below, you’ll explore the most luxurious hotel options that New York City has to offer.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, King Suite, NYC Hotels

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on the East River Waterfront in Brooklyn.

The Beekman, Deluxe King, NYC Hotles

The Beekman is a 19th-century landmark hotel in Lower Manhattan.

1 Hotel Central Park, NYC Hotels

1 Hotel Central Park is only steps away from Central Park and Columbus Circle.

Mercer Hotel, Loft Suite Brick, NYC Hotels

The Mercer Hotel is a chic, loft-style hotel in the heart of SoHo.

Baccarat Hotel, NYC Hotels

Baccarat Hotel New York is a glamorous option centrally located in Midtown.

The Towers at Lotte New York, NYC Hotels

The award-winning Towers at Lotte New York Palace is located in Midtown near Rockefeller Center.

The Dominick, NYC Hotels

The only Five-Diamond property in Soho, The Dominick has a mid-century American vibe.

The Pierre, a Taj Hotel, NYC Hotels

The Pierre, a Taj Hotel, is an elegant option on the Upper East Side.

The Surrey, NYC Hotels

The Surrey is an artsy, Upper East Side boutique hotel near Central Park.

The NoMad Library, NYC Hotels

The NoMad, north of Madison Square Park, is notorious for its stylish, dark interiors.

Business travelers looking for a high-end hotel experience will love The Beekman, a historic option located in Lower Manhattan, or The Towers at Lotte New York Palace, a luxury hotel in Midtown. The Mercer Hotel in SoHo is an intimate option perfect for art and culture lovers, and celebrated designer Christian Liaigre decorated it. The NoMad Hotel has a similar, artistic feel, but it’s located near the Flatiron and Fifth Avenue.

For travelers looking to stay on the Upper East Side, The Pierre and The Surrey are both excellent options. The Pierre has received five stars from Forbes Travel Guide and AAA Five-Diamond Awards, while The Surrey has been named Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure’s #1 hotel in NYC. 1 Hotel Central Park is one of the most unique, eco-friendly hotels in the city with locally sourced materials and lush greenery around every corner, but for the more traditional luxury traveler, Midtown’s Baccarat Hotel is the perfect option.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, Riverhouse Master Bedroom, NYC Hotels

The 2,000-square-foot Riverhouse Suite at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Hotels, Riverhouse Master Bathroom

The Master Bathroom in the Riverhouse Suite.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Hotels, Riverhouse Living Room

The living space in the Riverhouse Suite.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Hotels, Riverhouse Living Room 2

Artists designed the interior using reclaimed materials and local greenery.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Hotels, Pool

The rooftop plunge pool has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Hotels, Bridge Studio Suite

The Bridge Studio Suite at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Hotels, Bar Night

The hotel bar offers travelers a one-of-a-kind view of the city.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, Liberty Studio Suite, NYC Hotels

The Liberty Studio Suite offers guests a unique view of the Statue of Liberty.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Hotels, Riverhouse Suite

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is the perfect rustic, chic waterfront retreat.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Hotels, Lobby

A group table in the lobby of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.

In the slideshow above, we’ll take a closer look at the gorgeous 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. With views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline, this luxury hotel was given the rare honor of being one of the “Hotels and Resorts to Travel To in 2017” by The New York Times. Guests will have easy access to the much-loved neighborhoods and restaurants in Brooklyn, and they’ll only be a short ferry ride away from Manhattan.

Local artists designed the rooms and suites at the hotel with reclaimed materials and plenty of local greenery. Amenities at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge include a rooftop terrace with a plunge pool and fire pits, farm-to-table restaurants, and a movie theater. This eco-luxury hotel is committed to sustainability in design and energy use. Next up, The Dominick.

The Dominick Night Bedroom

Travelers will love watching the sun fall over the city from their room at The Dominick.

Bathroom The Dominick SoHo

Marble showers and bathtub views add to this hotel's luxury.

The Dominick Penthouse 3303

Penthouses offer views of the skyline and the Hudson River through floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Dominick SoHo Skyline View

The Dominick stands out in the SoHo skyline as an elegant, luxury feature.

The Dominick Exterior Pool View

The rooftop terrace pool is one of the hotel's most-loved features.

The Dominick King Suite

The Dominick is the only Five-Diamond property in the city's SoHo neighborhood.

Trump SoHo Duplex Terrace Penthouse Dining Room

The dining room at sunset in one of the Deluxe Penthouse Suites.

The Dominick Kitchen

Interior designers created a sophisticated, mid-century American look.

The Dominick Pool

Travelers will love taking a dip in The Dominick's luxury pool.

The Dominick Rooftop

Rooftop lounging is one of the many relaxing activities for guests at The Dominick.

The Dominick, featured above, is perfect for romantic getaways and urban immersion. Located in one of New York City’s most fashionable neighborhoods, this hotel is close to both Greenwich Village and Wall Street, so travelers will love the energy of the area. There are art galleries, shops, and award-winning restaurants all within walking distance. The hotel also has a restaurant and cocktail lounge on-site if guests don’t want to go far. And when they’re looking to cool off or relax, there’s a rooftop terrace with a pool. The Dominick’s aesthetic is the perfect combination of mid-century modern sophistication and comfort, and the views of the Manhattan skyline and the Hudson River are unparalleled.

So the next time you’re planning a trip to New York City, check out one of the hotels featured in this article to get an authentic, luxury experience of the city. Beautiful views, upscale interior design, and great food are only the beginning.

Luxury Hotels from Around the World

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Luxury Hotels from Around the World

August 23, 2018

Not all luxury hotels are created equal. In fact, while there might be a few amenities that apply across the board—room service, toiletries, entertainment options, etc.—many of today’s luxury hotels are attempting to provide highly localized experiences. Generic luxury has run its course. 

By allowing local culture to influence interior design, décor choices, and cuisine, travelers are able to see the best a region has to offer. The slideshow below features luxury hotels from around the world that are catering to a more high-end, local experience for guests.

Waldorf Astoria, Beverly Hills, CA

The Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, California.

1 Hotel Central Park Room, NYC

1 Hotel Central Park in New York, New York.

The Lanesborough Room, London, England

The Lanesborough in London, England.

Hotel Eclat Beijing Room, Beijing, China

The Miami Suite at Hotel Eclat in Beijing, China.

Baglioni Hotel Luna Room, Venice, Italy

Water views at the Baglioni Hotel Luna in Venice, Italy.

The Adelaide Hotel Toronto Room, Toronto, Canada

The Adelaide Hotel in Toronto, Canada.

Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills Room, Tokyo, Japan

Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills in Tokyo, Japan.

Kameha Grand Zurich Room, Zurich, Switzerland

Kameha Grand Zürich in Zürich, Switzerland.

The Peninsula Paris Room, Paris, France

The Peninsula Paris in the heart of Paris, France.

The Towers at Lotte New York Palace Room

The Towers at Lotte New York Palace in New York City.

The slideshow begins with the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, a perfectly located hotel in the heart of the hills that allows travelers to experience the best of California. On the other side of the country, 1 Hotel Central Park is surrounded by greenery in the center of Manhattan. This urban hotel does an excellent job of bringing nature into every room with reclaimed wood décor and treetop views.

Across the pond, The Lanesborough in London (also pictured below) celebrates elegance and Regency-era luxury. This grand mansion has been renovated with the traveler in mind, and it’s located only steps away from Hyde Park. Hotel Éclat Beijing is another luxury boutique hotel with a style all its own. The eccentric design and museum-quality art make it one of the most unique hotel experiences in the world.

The Lanesborough, London Feature, England

The Baglioni Hotel Luna in Venice brings the magic of this Italian city to life. Travelers will enjoy the stunning views and being immersed in the region’s art, history, and gourmet cuisine. The Adelaide Hotel in Toronto provides similar luxury but with a Canadian flair. This hotel’s beautiful architecture, chic décor, and high-end amenities offer the epitome of comfort in the heart of this Canadian metropolis.

On the other side of the word, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills in Japan is deeply rooted in local culture. Their goal is for guests to have a “Japanese-inspired experience.” In the same way, Kameha Grand Zürich aims to create an authentic Swiss experience beginning with a creative and whimsical design by Marcel Wanders. Travelers will not only feel inspired, but they’ll be offered one of Switzerland’s most notorious desserts at every corner: Swiss Chocolate.

The Towers at Lotte New York Palace Lobby Feature

The Peninsula Paris celebrates the “French art of chic living in the City of Light.” Perfectly located in the city, guests will be steps from shopping, museums, and world-class restaurants. The final hotel featured in the slideshow is The Towers at Lotte New York Palace. This stately landmark on Madison Avenue is one of the most iconic hotels in New York City, and its interior design combines timeless elegance and modern luxury. The hotel’s iconic lobby is featured in the photo above.

Luxury travel has turned over a new leaf. The era of generic design and cuisine choices is waning, while the trend of creating a highly-localized experience for guests is more popular than ever. The hotels featured above are just a few examples of the trend, and if you’re looking to visit any of these regions in the coming months, they’re excellent options.

Oddly Designed Homes You Can Actually Rent

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Oddly Designed Homes You Can Rent

May 30, 2018

When it comes to vacation rentals, the options are endless. There are hundreds of hotel and rental home websites to choose from, but if you’re looking for once-in-a-lifetime accommodations, that typically requires a lot of time and research. And who has time to scroll through and read thousands of listings and reviews?

If that’s you, look no further: we’ve done the work for you. The slideshow below is a compilation of some of the most amazing oddly-designed homes you can actually rent.

Villa Collina's stone interior was constructed in the 14th-century in Tuscany, Italy.

Batu Villa on Virgin Gorda includes a main house and four standalone suites along the rocky coastline.

Redstone, a historic townhome located in Aspen, is the epitome of classic, American luxury.

Foresteria Firenze is located in Florence, Italy and has a unique Renaissance design.

Cobalt Cottage in Rosemary Beach has a tower that's three stories high for ocean viewing.

Vista Lago was built in the 1700s on Lake Como in Italy, so its centuries-old charm is one-of-a-kind.

Odd Homes, Gansevoort Villas, Turks and Caicos

This odd deck floating in Turtle Tail Bay belongs to the Gansevoort Turks + Caicos Villa.

Odd Homes, Rosewood Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Mexico

This multi-level, modern home was built at Rosewood Mayakoba on the Riviera Maya.

Odd homes, Six Senses Laamu, Laamu, Maldives

With suites built on stilts, guests are sure to have a unique experience at Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives.

Odd Homes, Hale Elua, Kohala Coast-Hawaii

This custom-built, Balinese pod-style home offers guests a unique experience with indoor/outdoor living.

Odd Homes, Six Senses Zil Payson, Seychelles

The Six Senses Zil Payson resort was built among the boulders along the shoreline in Seychelles.

Of all the oddly designed homes featured in the slideshow, a few stand out. Villa Collina is one of Italy’s many cobblestone villas that dates back to the 14th century. The room featured in the slideshow contains a brick oven for making pizzas. Redstone, a $7.5M historic townhome in downtown Aspen, features almost 4,000 square feet of antique features and design elements such as wrought-iron railings and grand staircases throughout the home. 

Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and original Italian artwork grace the walls at Foresteria Firenze, an Italian penthouse with Renaissance flair. The views of downtown Florence and the city’s most famous landmarks can be seen from most rooms in the home. Pictured below, you can see the over-the-water swimming platform connected to the Gansevoort Villa in Turks and Caicos giving guests direct ocean access.

Odd Homes Featured Image 1

Cobalt Cottage is a restored home in Rosemary Beach, Florida with a unique three-story tower made for visitors to view the ocean. If guests are looking for a memorable Florida beach experience, Cobalt Cottage is a great option. And at over 6,000 square feet, Vista Lago is the largest home featured in the slideshow. This impressive lakefront estate is just minutes from George Clooney’s property on Lake Como, and the classic design is enhanced with contemporary updates. 

If travelers are looking to plan a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, renting a uniquely designed home is the first step. Most of the homes in the slideshow and featured images above are available through Inspirato.

Three Mexican Villas in Los Cabos Perfect for Your Next Vacation

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Three Mexican Villas in Los Cabos Perfect for Your Next Vacation

May 24, 2018

The dream of a long, beach vacation is one of the things that gets you through your hardest days. Lounging near the ocean with a frozen drink in hand, the sound of your family laughing in the background accenting the rhythmic sound of waves, all indicators of pure bliss and relaxation. So when you go to book your next beach trip, one of these three Mexican Villas in Los Cabos will perfectly accommodate your wildest vacation dreams. 

First up, Joya del Mar, a modern Mexican villa. 

LosCabos-Res-JoyaDelMar-exterior sunset
Los Cabos-Res-Joya Del Mar-Patio Pool Beach Seating
Living Room, Joya del Mar, Los Cabos
Kitchen, Joya del Mar, Los Cabos
Bathroom, Joya del Mar, Los Cabos
Mini Golf Green, Joya del Mar, Los Cabos
Dining Room, Joya del Mar, Los Cabos
Terrace, Joya del Mar, Los Cabos

Welcome to Joya del Mar, a $9.9M oceanfront home within the stunning Punta Ballena community. Nestled in the rocky coastline, guests are invited to enjoy the best that Los Cabos has to offer. Whether you’re swimming in the heated, infinity-edge pool, relaxing in the hot tub overlooking the waves, or dining in the outdoor Palapa on the beach, you’ll be right at home soaking in this ocean paradise. High-end amenities, a breakfast service, and a modern interior design make Joya del Mar one of the most luxurious options in the region.

Next, there’s Costero, an oceanfront villa with a guest casita. Guests will enjoy ultimate luxury in this 3,300 square foot home that can comfortably accommodate up to 10 people. This gorgeous $5M villa sits on the ocean shore, and it even has a guest casita that’s not joined to the main house for added privacy. 

LosCabos_Res_Costero_Palapa Pool Beach View
LosCabos_Res_Costero_Master Bedroom
LosCabos_Res_Costero_ExtHero_0484-Exterior Pool
Kitchen, Costero, Los Cabos
Fire Pit, Costero, Los Cabos
Bathroom, Costero, Los Cabos
Pool, Costero, Los Cabos

With two infinity-edge pools and tons of outdoor space to explore, guests will never want to go inside. An outdoor palapa, fire pit, hot tub, and expansive terrace are just a few of the outdoor attractions at Costero. The home has panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez and Land’s End Arch, and it’s fully of handcrafted furnishings and original Mexican art that reflects the region.

And finally, there’s Villa Oasis. Located inside of the well-known Palmilla community, this beautiful home is truly one-of-a-kind. Large outdoor living spaces, a stunning interior, and plenty of available entertainment options guarantee that guests will have the vacation of a lifetime. And with both ocean and golf course views, you’ll get the best of both worlds every time you look outside.

Los-Cabos_Palmilla_Villa-Oasis_Pool-Exterior Sunset
Los-Cabos_Palmilla_Villa-Oasis_Pool-Firepit-View Sunset
Master Bedroom, Villa Oasis, Los Cabos
Living Room, Villa Oasis, Los Cabos
Kitchen, Villa Oasis, Los Cabos
Living Room, Villa Oasis, Los Cabos
Master Bathroom, Villa Oasis, Los Cabos
Hot Tub, Villa Oasis, Los Cabos
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Terrace Dining, Villa Oasis, Los Cabos

Villa Oasis is only a short golf cart ride to the beach, restaurants, golf, and other resort amenities, and there are two golf carts available for guests to use upon their arrival. But if guests prefer to dine at home, there is a fully equipped kitchen available for home chefs as well as an option to dine indoors in the formal dining room or outdoors under the covered terrace. Villa Oasis is the perfect vacation option for beach lovers and sun-seekers alike. 

So the next time you’re planning a beach trip, come see all the beauty Los Cabos, Mexico has to offer. There really isn’t a better place to accommodate all of your wildest vacation dreams.

The Most Luxurious Beach Homes in Mexico You Can Rent

The Most Luxurious Beach Homes in Mexico You Can Rent

May 21, 2018

Mexico is known for its diverse landscape, rich culture, and world-class beaches. For beachgoers, there’s a variety of beaches to choose from on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. And while the beautiful beach options are plentiful, the luxury Mexican beach homes are harder to find. Explore the most luxurious options below.

Starting with Casa Mariposa in Real del Mar, Mexico. This expansive, hacienda-inspired villa is perched perfectly on a hillside offering sweeping ocean views of the Piedra Blance on the Mexican Riviera.

Casa Mariposa pool, Punta Mita, Mexico

Guests will lounge in luxury beside their infinity-edge pool at the Casa Mariposa.

Casa Mariposa master bedroom, Punta Mita, Mexico

The 1,000-square-foot master suite is on the top floor and has a private deck and hot tub.

Casa Mariposa exterior view, Punta Mita, Mexico

This expansive villa is located on a hillside with views of the Piedra Blanca on the Mexican Riviera.

Guests will enjoy a prepared breakfast in their large, gourmet kitchen every morning.

Casa Mariposa dining room, Punta Mita, Mexico

There are dining options indoors and outdoors, both with exceptional views.

Casa Mariposa living room, Real Del Mar, Mexico

Up to fourteen people can be comfortably accommodated in this 11,000 square foot villa.

Casa Mariposa overhead view exterior, Real Del Mar, Mexico

When guests want to enjoy the water, they have easy access to the beach or a private pool.

Casa Mariposa entryway, Real Del Mar, Mexico

Casa Mariposa was designed with luxury and local culture in mind.

Casa Mariposa pool dining, Real Del Mar, Mexico

Enjoying a margarita at sunset has never been more relaxing than under Casa Mariposa's palapa.

Casa Mariposa bedroom, Real Del Mar, Mexico

Because of the villa's unique, hillside location, sweeping ocean views grace every room.

Casa Mariposa boasts over 11,000 sq. ft., and it can accommodate up to 14 guests at a time with its 6 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms. One of the most luxurious features of the home is the 1,000 sq. ft. master suite. Sitting on the top floor of the villa, guests staying in the master suite have access to a private deck and hot tub just for them. With a daily, prepared breakfast, guests are fueled to explore the town and beaches on their six-person golf cart. But if they prefer a day at their private pool, they can make some margaritas in their poolside palapa and enjoy the infinity pool and hot tub. 

Next is Villa Buenaventura in Los Cabos. Luxury has met its match at this stunning beach villa. This $6M home was built on a hillside right by the ocean with panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez. With shoreline access and plenty of outdoor space, guests will love lounging outdoors at this one-of-a-kind Mexican villa.

LosCabos-Residence-Buenaventura-EXT-Evening Exterior Pool

Villa Buenaventura has stunning ocean views surrounded by a unique, rocky lanscape.

LosCabos-Residence-Buenaventura-Front Entrance

The luxurious experience begins from the moment guests walk through the front entrance.

LosCabos-Residence-Buenaventura-Dining Room

The open-air floor plan makes it easy for up to 12 guests to enjoy this villa at a time.

Los Cabos-Residence-Buenaventura-Hot Tub Sunrise

One of Villa Buenaventura's most luxurious features is the oceanfront hot tub.

Los Cabos-Residence-Buenaventura-Master Bedroom

With five bedrooms and seven-and-a-half bathrooms, there is plenty of space to relax.

Los Cabos-Residence-Buenaventura-Infinity Pool Daytime

The infinity pool views at Villa Buenaventura can't be beat.

Los Cabos-Residence-Buenaventura-Living Room

The villa's handcrafted furnishings and original Mexican artwork reflect the region.

Los Cabos-Residence-Buenaventura-Oceanfront Cabana

Guests can enjoy the beautiful views from inside or from their private outdoor terrace.

Los Cabos-Residence-Buenaventura-Kitchen

The gourmet kitchen is fully equipped for any home chef to prepare a delicious meal.

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This $6M oceanfront home is located within the Las Residencias at Punta Ballena community.

Los Cabos-Residence-Buenaventura-Family Living Room

The home's interior design allows guests to soak in the casual elegance of the Baja region.

Los Cabos-Residence-Buenaventura-Courtyard Firepit Night Sunset

Unique design elements, like the courtyard fire pit, make this luxury villa one of a kind.

Villa Buenaventura is located within the gated Las Residences at Punta Ballena community, and it has over 8,000 square feet to explore. This luxury villa is full of handcrafted furnishings and original artwork that reflects the elegance of Mexico’s Baja region, but with a private terrace and beachfront palapa, it’ll be hard to keep guests indoors. And when hunger strikes, there’s a gourmet kitchen and a grill out by the heated pool and hot tub.

And finally, Punta Vista in Punta de Mita. Just steps away from the beach, Punta Vista offers visitors the best in luxury vacations. Daily housekeeping and breakfast preparation are just a small part of what makes this vacation home so desirable. Not a detail was missed from the high-end furnishings to the luxury linens. 

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This luxury penthouse is a part of the impressive Los Veneros resort in Punta de Mita.

Punta de Mita_Los Veneros Patio Pool Day View

If guests aren't in the mood for a beach day, the terrace views are just as beautiful.

The home's open layout emphasizes natural light and gorgeous views.

Punta de Mita_Los Veneros Patio Pool Night

Any time is the perfect time to take a dip in Punta Vista's stunning infinity pool.

The daily housekeeper is also available to make breakfast each morning for guests.

Outdoor and indoor dining options both offer incredible views of Playa Destiladeras.

Punta de Mita_Los Veneros Pool Night

Expansive outdoor terraces allow guests to soak up the sun from any angle.

Punta de Mita_Los Veneros Patio View

Punta Vista's stunning beach and forest views are one of a kind.

Luxury linens and large windows help guests to feel right at home in this luxury home.

Punta de Mita_Los Veneros Pool Day View

Punta Vista is one of the most luxurious penthouse stays in Punta de Mita, Mexico.

It doesn’t matter if guests choose to soak in the ocean views from indoors, the pool, or on one of their expansive outdoor terraces, Punta Vista is located in a gated community that provides ultimate seclusion and relaxation. Guests also have the option of enjoying the local beach right outside their door or taking a short drive to visit the notorious beaches of Puerto Vallarta.

As you can see, Mexico is a much-loved luxury vacation spot for a reason. With such a wide variety of beaches, landscapes and homes, visitors are sure to get exactly what they want in a vacation.